Since a major component of my film festival strategy is to submit to genre festivals, I thought I’d kick off with a submission to Comic-Con. I happen to know a couple of filmmakers who have gotten in to Comic-Con’s International Film Festival, so it comes recommended. I can’t think of a better place to get my movie in front of a ton of genre fans. Also, if you get in, you get a bunch of VIP passes to the Con! I’ve never been, but always wanted to go.
Their submission guidelines couldn’t have looked simpler when I printed them out, but I had a bit of an ordeal gathering everything together. Firstly, I have a whole packet of press material written for “Stull” but they only needed a short synopsis and a filmmaker bio. Cutting your synopsis down to 50 words is an art in itself. Here’s what I came up with:
In 1993, four teens visited an abandoned church in Stull, Kansas, a place reputed to be a gate to Hell. They were never heard from again.
“Stull” recounts the supernatural events leading up to their disappearance, including encounter with a strange man who might just be the Devil himself.
There was no word limit on the bio, but I kept that short too.
Secondly, they want four DVD copies of movie. No problem, except I was a bit wary of sending out my nicely-packaged version. A quick call to filmmaker Alex Horwitz, whose “Alice Jacobs is Dead” played the Con last year, confirmed my hesitancy. He said he’s heard many a festival programmer say that they discriminate against slick packaging. But he also said not to use paper labels on DVDs. He uses Lightscribe, which I don’t have. But I do already have my nicely-pressed DVDs. I ended up cracking open four boxes and putting them generic plastic cases. Nice, but not too slick.
Finally, they require one production still. No problem, right? I have a whole gallery of them online. Well, the problem is I don’t have any of them physically printed. I thought everyone would only want digital files these days.
Anyway, I planned to print a still out on my little Canon CP-200 photo-printer that I haven’t used in ages. After four hours, I concluded that it is either broken or non-compatible with Snow Leopard.
So I went to FedEx Kinko’s with a USB stick with some images on it. Turns out the Sony copy station can’t read a Mac-formatted stick. I went back home, moved the files over to the FAT32 partition on the stick and went back. I printed a bunch out and none of them came out very good. It’s dye-sub printing and there must be a bunch of hairs and dust, because there are all kinds of dots and curly lines that are yellow, magenta or green. Anyway, I picked the best of a bad bunch and included that, making sure there was a little line at the bottom of my info sheet saying that digital files were available.
The packet is all together. I’m very proud. If I get in, you can bet there will be an excited post right here.
NOTE: Be sure to read the update to find out how Comic-Con mis-handled my film.